Friday, September 23, 2011

House of Cards

When you are trying to make a house of cards so many things come into play; are the cards thick and strong, is the table solid and unmoving, are there any air vents, who is around, etc…  The principals for being the Housing Director for a hockey team apply much the same way.  The end product is an amazing thing, but getting there is absolutely a challenge.
Veronica managed to get me roped into taking the job as Housing Director for a AAA hockey team this year(GO OMAHA AAA LANCERS!), and what a job.  What is a housing director you may ask?  Well basically I get to be the poor guy that has to beg people to take in a smelly, moody, loud, messy, large, eating machine into their home and convince them it is a rewarding and fulfilling experience all while I send them a check for $275 a month. 
Now if you don’t have a teenage boy let me give you a hint $275 is not much in the way of food.  In a single month they can easily drink 6 gallons of milk, 48 bottles of water, 24 pack of soda and 31 Gatorades – they can eat 4 loaves of bread, 8 bags of chips, 4 large boxes of cereal, 6 boxes of poptarts, 16 cans of soup, a dozen bagels, 10 packages of Ramen, 12 boxes of Mac& Cheese, 10 Frozen Pizzas, 2 bags of Pizza Rolls, a packages of Oreos and anything else they get their hands on.  This is not even getting into what they eat for dinner.
You may think that getting kids into a home is the hard part but really that is just the beginning.  Once you have a home figured out the next thing is trying to get players moved in from all over the country, and even some from outside the USA.  School quickly becomes an issue and trying to register 20+ boys all with different plans about graduation is enough to make anyone nuts.  Then for the next ten months your job becomes a mix of begging people to house for the next year, mailing out housing checks, putting out fires, and just keeping track of where everyone is at all times. 
It is hard enough to keep track of 1 teenage boy, try two full hockey teams.  That level of control requires a NASA computer and satellite triangulation along with the cooperation of the Soviet Space Station.  This year already I have had two players moved because of housing issues, one player that has refused to leave my house because he likes it here so much, a player that changed their mind about playing & moved out without telling anyone, players wanting to switch housing because they want to go to a different school, boys thinking they can only eat dinner at my house, coaches changing practice schedules, housing and biological families calling for various reasons, and plenty of sicknesses.
While this may sound like the worst job in the whole club to have, oh did I mention I don’t get paid, I would not trade it for anything.  I love my players and all the other ones too.  I stop by practice to watch for a moment between running to various committee and board meetings and the boys will wave at me from the ice – SORRY COACH.  It is in those moments that I forget about the headaches and the chaos that is may cause me, and I can’t think of life without them.


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